Thursday, December 30, 2021

Drunk driving enforcement program now under way

During the New Year's holidays, law enforcement officials throughout Michigan will be participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. To protect lives, there will be increased patrols on the roads through Jan.1, 2022, with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired, according to a statement from the Michigan State Police.

Throughout 2020, there were 9,078 alcohol-involved crashes in Michigan with 326 alcohol-involved fatalities statewide, according to data provided by the state agency.

“Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after you've been drinking or taken drugs endangers you, your passengers and everyone else on the road,” said Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “Fatalities on our roadways are preventable, and drivers must remember that driving impaired by any substance is deadly, illegal and selfish behavior.”

From 2016 to 2020, during the Christmas and New Year's holiday period, 84 people were killed in traffic crashes in Michigan, including 34 people who died in alcohol-involved crashes. Over the 2020 holiday period, 15 people died in crashes on Michigan roads.

According to the 2019 Michigan Annual Drunk Driving Audit by the Michigan State Police, 41.9 percent of all fatal crashes that occurred involved alcohol, drugs or both. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals recognizes December as one of the most dangerous months because of an increase in impaired driving.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.